Shawnee is in the Frontier Country region of Oklahoma.
While normally not on the sight-seeing itinerary of those who do not know someone already living there, Shawnee could prove to be an interesting day trip.
In recent days, Shawnee has become increasingly known for its numerous Native American casinos.
Practically the only method of getting in or out of Shawnee is on the highway. Taxi cabs can be hired by calling a taxi service to have them pick you up, although doing so from another city could prove expensive.
There are no rental car agencies in Shawnee or at Shawnee Airport, so car rentals must be made before hand. Many times this is done at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
Most traffic enters and exits Shawnee via Interstate Highway I-40, although State Highway 3 and US Highway 177 pass through Shawnee as well.
Greyhound buses make daily stops in front of the American Colony motel on the far north side of Shawnee.
From there you will have to either call a taxi or arrange another form of pickup.
Originally established as a railroad hub, Shawnee still has many infrequently used rail tracks. While logistically difficult as well as illegal, it could be feasible to stow aboard a freight car inbound to Shawnee. Not recommended.
Chartered flights can be aquired to fly you in to Shawnee airport, most likely originating from Oklahoma City or Tulsa. There are no commercial flight charter services based in Shawnee, so arrangments for your eventual pickup would have to be made as well.
While towns in Oklahoma are quite spread out, some have been known to hitchhike especially along I-40. Not preferred.
If you are a tourist, getting around in Shawnee means either calling a taxi cab service to pick you up or using a rental car.
Shawnee is very, very spread out and if you will quickly abandon any thoughts of walking if you ever want to get where you're going.
Historical Places of Interest
- Downtown Shawnee see section below
- Log Cabin- 19th century log cabin built by early settlers. Has been moved from original location. Partially demolished.
- Burial Plot of Brewster Higley- The now deceased author of the western epic "Home on the Range" has his final resting place in Fairview Cemetary located next to McDonalds on Harrison Street. 1500 North Center Avenue, (405) 878-1529
Many old buildings from Shawnee's early years still remain, although most have changed facade and/or fallen into disrepair.
Shawnee Downtown Renewal Website
Warning: This site may present a non-neutral point of view on the topic of spending public funds to renovate Downtown Shawnee- a source of local controversy.
Notable Downtown Shawnee Buildings:
- Aldrige Hotel- Once renowned hotel tower that has been internally restored by federal funding as housing for the indigent elderly. 20 East 9th Street, (405) 275-9500 (Apartments), (405) 273-3030 (Barber Shop)
- Round House® Building- Three story manufacturing site of Round House® bib overalls for over 80 years. (Business moved outside city limits in 1995 when city code enforcement precluded expansion.) Round House® slogan still visible on side of building.
- Sante Fe Depot- Old railroad station turned museum. Has working railroad tracks. East Main St., (405) 275-8412
- Immanuel Baptist Church- Towering stone and brick sanctuary built 1917. 1101 East Main Street, (405) 275-7729, Singles Ministry: 1125 East Main Street, (405) 273-2248
In recent years, Shawnee has spent over a million dollars "revitalizing" a three block section of Bell Street, one of Shawnee's oldest roads and site of the Aldrige Hotel and former Round House® Building.
Visitable improvements consist of:
- Replaced brick in the road
- Three jumbo sized potted plants which also serve to narrow the road
- Vintage stoplight(s)
- Small group of plantings in front of Municipal Auditorium
- Vintage standing clock (donated)
Note: This use of funds has proved controversial.
- Cinema Center 8 movie theater, 3031 North Harrison, (405) 275-7511 Business profile, Jones Theaters Website
- Hornbeck and Penthouse movie theater (Still commonly, and now incorrectly, referred to as the "Dollar Movie", despite a recent price increase to $1.50), 125 North Bell Avenue, (405) 275-0963, (405) 275-0964 (Office), Business profile
- Mabee-Gerrer Museum and Art Gallery, 1900 West Macarthur, (405) 878-5300 Business profile
- Movies 6 (located at Shawnee Mall), 4901 North Kickapoo, (405) 275-6666
- Noah's Ark Petting Zoo
- Oklahoma Baptist University Sporting Events
- Oklahoma Baptist University Theater (405) 878-2347
- Shawnee Airport Jogging Trail Built in mid 1990's courtesy federal grant, 2202 Airport Drive, (405) 878-1625 (Airport Manager)
- Shawnee Bowl Family Fun Center (formerly Tri-County-Bowl; colloquially "Ghetto Bowl" although recent facility upgrades may have rendered this pejorative a misnomer), 701 North Harrison Street, (405) 275-4064
- Shawnee Little Theater, 1829 Airport Drive, (405) 275-2805, Theater Website
- Shawnee Public Library, 101 North Philadelphia Avenue, (405) 275-6353, (405) 273-3334 (Administrative Services)
- St. Gregory's University Sporting Events, 1900 West Macarthur, (405) 878-5100
- Star Skate Roller skating rink, 37303 45th Street, (405) 273-2030
- Veterans of Foregin Wars (VFW) Headquaters Weekend concerts and annual Super Bowl parties, 811 East Macarthur Street, (405) 273-7098
- Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Gyms, fitness facillities, youth sports, Saratoga & Hornet Street, (405) 273-4386, Business profile, Shawnee YMCA Website
Since Shawnee's many public parks are used infrequently by locals, a quiet and serene environment can usually be expected.
(Exceptions noted below)
- KidSpace children's outdoor play equipment (adult supervision strongly reccomended)
- Lions Club Park (has baseball field)
- Briscoe Rotary Boy Scout Park (lighted public tennis courts, great place for pick-up style basketball games) (not recommended after dark)
- Weigant Park aka "Slide Park" (not recommended after dark)
- Woodland Park (public swimming pool available in Summer months) (lighted public tennis courts)
"Cruising the Poo"
a.k.a. "Croozing the Poo"
This is one of the most common entertainment venues for tourists, and a local tradition that has been going on for more than 50 years, is known to residents as "Cruising the Poo". (Note: "Poo" is short for Shawnee's Kickapoo Street.)
Those wishing to "Cruise the Poo" generally enter Shawnee in groups leaving their home town via car, or more often, pickup truck. Once in Shawnee, these "Poo Cruiser" park in front of local businesses that are closed for the evening- generally in the mid to north side of Kickapoo Street.
Once there, a Poo Cruiser will meet and interact with visitors from other towns who have parked close by, although it is common for groups from the same town to merely interact amongst themselves and/or passing cars of other Poo Cruisers or Shawnee locals.
Unfortunately, underage drinking is known to occur, sometimes accompanied by drunken arguments and fisticuffs. Whether instigated by members of another group of Poo Cruisers, or by Shawnee locals passing by (who have been known to make derogatory and/or offensive comments toward Poo Cruisers), these activities are swiftly and handily halted by local police on neighborhood patrol.
Pooh Cruising activities mainly start around sundown on Friday and Saturday nights.
Note: While participants of "Poo Cruising" are generally youth from nearby communitiies, Cruising the Poo is always open to the general public, and many Shawnee locals get involved as well.
Shawnee's Twin Lakes
Shawnee's Twin Lakes offer enjoyable avocation and adventure to anyone who likes to experience the outdoors and water related leisure.
One lake is reserved for fishing and angling.
Its counterpart lake is for those who wish to swim or take part in non fishing related activities such as water skiing, jet skiing, or drinking.
(Consuming alcohol while fishing can be dangerous to yourself and those around you; it is strongly discouraged.)
(Note: Due to pervasive droughts and low water levels, Shawnee Twin Lakes are often closed during the summer)
- Shawnee Golf and Country Club (Collared shirt and appropriate golf attire required)
18 hole course, Pro Store, and Club House dining available.
18 hole course; usually considered to Shawnee's budget golfing: "Golfing for the price of a gordita", Minature Golf located nearby.
Driving range and batting cages also available.
For a town of close to 30,000, Shawnee offers more than its share of civic, intellectually-exclusive, and intellectually-lacking organizations:
- The American Legion, 522 Saratoga Street, (405) 275-1706
- Bridge Club (2)
- The Ex-Cody Burger Fan Club a group once devoted to a minor child actor. 
- Kiwanis Club Sponsors of annual Little Olympics competition for local 4th-6th graders.
- Knights of Columbus
- Nathanial Hawthorne Society
- Optimist Club
- Rotary Club Tuesday meeting, Golden Corral; Annual Lobster and Grapfruit sales.
- Salvation Army - Boys and Girls Club, 200 East 9th Street, (405) 273-1470
- Shakespeare Club
- Shawnee Country Club, 2501 Augusta, (405) 273-4076, (405) 273-2764 (Golf Shop), (405) 273-0784 (Greens Keeper), (405) 273-1763 (Office)
- Toast Masters Devoted to the improvement of public speaking and business related acumen.
Note: it is currently debated as to whether or not the Shakespeare or Hawthorne organizations are actually devoted to discussion of their namesake authors.
Local Television Favorites
If none of the other activities or locales on this page interest the reader, he or she may be occupied by some of the various local television programming:
- Shawnee CTV Channel 99 on Charter cable
Broadcasts Shawnee High School athletics and coach's shows on Wednesdays and Saturdays
- City Commision Meetings Channel 27 or 30 on Charter cable
The City Government can be watched in what is often referred to as "Shawnee's C-SPAN".
- Bargain World (formerly Bargain Barn)Channel 27 on Charter cable
A nightly, live auction show open for any and all.
As a classic example of middle sized town Americana, Shawnee boasts a variety of shopping opportunities , both budget and luxury oriented.
Books & Magazines
- Bibliotech Books & Comics specializes in sci-fi and fantasy literature, 123 East Main Street, (405) 275-9494
- Book Barn used book exchange
- Waldenbooks, Shawnee Mall, (405) 273-1599
- American Eagle Outfitters (inside Shawnee Mall)
- The Buckle (inside Shawnee Mall)
- Big K (K-Mart)
- Dillard's (inside Shawnee Mall)
- Goodwill thrift
- Hot Topic (inside Shawnee Mall)
- J.C. Penney (inside Shawnee Mall)
- Salvation Army Thrift Store
- Scrubbies Uniforms
- Sears (inside Shawnee Mall)
- Tener's Western Wear
- Walls Discount Store
- Shepherd's Men's Wear
Cars and Motor Vehicles
- Armstrong Motors (pre-owned)
- Harvey's GMC, Chevy, Pontiac, Cadillac
- Joe Cooper Ford
- Kasterke Motors (pre-owned)
- McQuerry Motors (pre-owned)
- Yamaha (motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, go-karts)
Discount, Thrift, Everything's $1
- Big Lots
- Dollar Tree (everything $1)
- Dollar General(2)
- Goodwill thrift
- Just Another, Slogan: "This ain't no musuem, this junk's for sale!"
- Salvation Army Thrift Store
- Save-A-Lot groceries
- Walls Dicount Store
- Big K (K-Mart)
- Neil's Furniture
- Salvation Army Thrift Store Furniture is available, though it is frequently stored out of doors.
- Starry Starry Arts
- Virginia's Home Furnishings
- Walls Discount Store
Note: Furniture and used appliances can be found for free in roadside ditches along the outskirts of Shawnee. Cleaning and sanitizing is strongley advised if you choose to go this route.
Music and Recorded Media
- CD Wharehouse
- Big K (K-Mart)
Trophies and Commemorative Decorations
Video and Home Entertainment Rental
- Hollywood Videos
- Blockbuster Home Videos
- Rave Review
Like most towns of any size in Oklahoma, Shawnee is inundated with most of the fast food restaurants you can think of and also has many all-you-can-eat buffets (mostly Chinese food).
Most places to eat are located either on the northern edge of town along interstate highway I-40, sprinkled along Harrison and Kickapoo Street, or downtown on the south side of Shawnee.
You cannot go very far in Shawnee without running into a Sonic Drive-In of which there are 4, Braum's hamburgers and ice-cream (3), McDonald's (3), Arby's roast beef (2), Pizza Hut (2), or a Taco Bell (2).
Shawnee also has many pizza kitchens, although many of these are carry-out/delivery only.
Fast Food Restaurants/Drive-In's
- Brown Derby Drive-In
- Charlie's Chicken (Note: known to go out of business and re-open frequently)
- Kountry Fried Chicken & Catfish
- Mazzio's Pizza
- Taco Bueno
- Taco Mayo
- Taco Tico
- China Buffet
- Golden Corral
- King Buffet (Chinese)
- Sunrise Chinese Buffet & Mongolian BBQ
- Thai Star
Sit Down Restaurants
- Abuelita Rosa’s Mexican
- Abuelita’s (Mexican)
- Amigo’s (Mexican)
- Chicago Street Deli (Note: open for lunch only)
- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant
- Delta Café
- Fratelli’s (Italian)
- Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub
- Hamburger King
- IHOP (Internationaly House of Pancakes) (Open 24 hours)
- Kim’s Place (Korean)
- Rainbow Inn (Open 24 hours)
- Red Lobster
- Rob’s Smokehouse (nee "Robb's Ribber")
- Santa Fe Steak House
- Shawnee Sandwhich Shop
- Van’s Pig Stand (2)
- Domino’s (Pizza)
- Kim's Place (Korean)
- Little Caesar’s (Pizza)
- Mazzio’s (Pizza)
- Papa John’s (Pizza)
- Pizza Hut (2)
Food Court at Shawnee Mall
- Gyro's (Greek)
- Sbarro's (Italian)
Donut and Breakfast Pastries
- Daylight Donuts
- Firelake Discount Foods
- Homeland Bakery (2) (Krispy Kreme donuts available)
- Hostess(c) / Wonder Bread(TM) Outlet
- Cinderella Motel: Dietrich's Bar (Friday night karaoke)
- Pott. County Liar's Club
- Queen of Hearts, 12512 Valley View Road, (405) 273-0499
- Red Ball Liquor
- Watering Hole Saloon, 1530 North Harrison Street, (405) 878-9557
- America's Best Quality Inn
- American Colony
- Cinderella Motel (Best Western)
- Colonial Inn (Free HBO)
- Fleetwood Motel
- Hampton Inn
- Kicapoo Motel (Rent available on weekly basis)
- Motel 6
- Shawnee Motel (Demolished 2004)
- Super 8 Motel
Shawnee's surrounding area can offer almost as much to see as the city itself, if one knows where to look:
- Fireworks stands Just outside city limits in almost every direction,(Usually open around the Fourth of July)
- Buddhist Temple located approximately 20 miles outside Shawnee on I-40.
- Curtis Watson's Restaraunt can be found off of I-40 between Shawnee and Oklahoma City.
- Top Hat (first store) Now know as Sonic America's Drive-in.
- Big Foot, rumoured to rummage in resident's backyards.